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Public Hearings on Expropriation Bill Wrapped Up

September 2, 2021

Parliament

The portfolio committee on public works and infrastructure has concluded public hearings on the Expropriation Bill.

The bill was tabled in parliament in October 2020.

The bill, designed to provide for the expropriation of property for a public purpose or in the public interest, was published for comment at the beginning of 2019.

The public works and infrastructure department published the bill’s explanatory summary in Government Gazette 43798 in October 2020.

The bill aims to:

• provide for the expropriation of property for a public purpose or in the public interest;
• provide for certain instances where expropriation with nil compensation may be appropriate in the public interest; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

According to the explanatory summary, the proposed legislation intends to give effect to the provisions of the Constitution including the equality clause (section 9); the property clause (section 25) and the just administrative action clause (section 33).

The bill also seeks to set up a “uniform framework for the expropriation of property across the three spheres of government without interfering with the existing expropriation legislative competence of expropriating authorities”.

According to the department, the uniform expropriation procedures set out in the bill will ensure certainty to all affected persons and institutions.

The bill will ensure that expropriating authorities publish an intended or actual expropriation including reasons for the expropriation.

The proposed legislation will also ensure that expropriation notices are served on affected persons and provide an opportunity to interested parties to raise objections and make representations to the expropriating authority.

In a statement, the committee expressed satisfaction with the “quality of inputs made by many South Africans across the length and breadth of the country”.

The committee plans to, in the “foreseeable future”, invite stakeholders and individuals who indicated an interest in making oral presentations to do so.